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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

Things that worked and things that didnt in my last garden

Well first of all I am so glad I found this forum , because I am still a new gardener and basically have learned about anything I know from you all fine people.

So I just raked and hoed my garden to get it ready for my cold weather plants, I am pretty sure I wont see another freeze here in Florida again this year. So things that worked well in my last garden:
1) Newspaper and mulch between rows to keep weeds down. Never saw any weeds , and now as I turned my soil over the newspaper is pretty much decomposed and all gone, and only some mulch left, so it all goes back into the soil, cool. No screen mesh or black cloth to pick up ,, YAAA.
2) Three rows about 2 feet apart, worked well. my first time I made 4 rows too close together.
What didn't work:
1) Metal tomato hoops some one gave me , way too small and no support for my tomatoes that grew to like 5 foot tall. I don't have any use for those hoops , so this time Ill try fencing or something from the tomato support page I read here, there were like a dozen different methods.
Thats about it, getting ready to plant again..

starwood
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Location: Eastern Oregon

I am a big fan of mulching with newspaper also. We collect horse trailer loads of leaves in the fall and mulch with them in the spring.

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GardenRN
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Location: Chesterfield, Va

What didn't work for me was that black weed barrier paper. The very first year the weeds grew right through it and after the rains had their way with the garden I had to basically dig it all out from underneath the dirt. what a mess! So this year I am going with news paper covered with hay or leaves. (haven't decided which yet, maybe both).

What did work for me was vibrating my tomato plants every time I went outside to help pollination. I just put my ring and middle finger on either side of the trunk of the plant and shook or vibrated my fingers back and forth really fast. Of course I can't prove that this is what made the difference, but I had a better rate than the previous year so I think I'll stick with it for now.

wisconsingal
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Location: Southeastern Wisconsin

A few things that worked: Planting Fairy Tale eggplant in pots... they stayed healthy and were ornamental on the deck. Tucking beets and marigolds in underneath and around my tomatoes. Mixing green and purple basil varieties in a pot, so pretty!

Didn't work: Starting radishes in late September. Okra--It's just too cold here I guess. Topsy Turvy--first year the plants dried out quickly, the second year I used it the plant rotted.
Angela

DoubleDogFarm
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What did work for me was vibrating my tomato plants every time I went outside to help pollination. I just put my ring and middle finger on either side of the trunk of the plant and shook or vibrated my fingers back and forth really fast. Of course I can't prove that this is what made the difference, but I had a better rate than the previous year so I think I'll stick with it for now
Tickling your seedlings is a good practice also. Waving the palm of your hand over a flat of seedlings will develop thicker stems. Some just use a oscillating fan.

Eric

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GardenRN
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I do try to make a habit of that. don't always do it as much as I should though. I wonder if the fan would make it too cool where my seedlings are. Right now it's hovering right around 70 degrees.

Are the plant fluorescent bulbs warmer (temp-wise) than regular fluorescent bulbs?

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Avonnow
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida

What worked

Well I think my list of things that didn't work is longer then what did. :?

For one, don't wait to start, I think I waited to late to start in Florida. So everything was budding and producing when it got too hot and buggy. I lost alot to heat and bugs. My garden is still producing from fall and my seedlings are in small pots now and will soon be planted. I also started flowering plants already to attract bees, last year I waited until it was too late. The flowers should have been attracting bees when the plans starting flowering. My raised beds were successful, my use of mirrors helped alot in the cooler months with less sunlight. On the other hand, this year I will get those mirrors put away before the heat, I fried many a plant in one hour when it got real hot. Plant what you will eat, not something that hardly makes one meal, when you have limited space use it wisely. My lima beans were beautiful - maybe got one good meal - I am not waiting two months for that again. :shock: Plant up! I have more trellises this year. Read, Read, Read or get on this forum before making a stupid mistake. It really pays off to ask if you are not sure. I gained so much insight in my first year from this site.

My expermint this year :wink: ... Get some kind of squash to grow. I am planting some already and am using Tulle (wedding gown material) to wrap around entire plant with a cage structure. I am using cheap clothes pin to hold it on, The tulle will not touch the plant, but sun, water, light get in and bugs stay out. Pollinating by hand will be necessary, but I was not successful at all with yellow squash or zucc last year - I love them both alot and want to make it work. I will let you all know if I find it successful. Thanks everyone for the help. I can't wait for this season.
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

One more thing I learned, I planted my tomatoes too late in the fall, I had a heck of a crop of cherry, plumb and big boy tomatoes growing like 5 ft high. All loaded with fruit, and then along came the freezes. I was hoping to have money for some PVC and plastic to make a greenhouse over them to protect them but I didnt have the money. I put plastic and lights around them, but they all died, so sad to see all my tomatos loaded with fruit die off. Lesson learned...

Avonnow sounds like you have had the same problem I had with my yellow squash and zucchinis, Squash Vine Borer. They ate up all my squash, zucchini and then went on to my cucumber to finish me off. And I saw the dang bug flying around, looked like a wasp, but its a moth. Had to toss all the plants. I have been thinking of how I could cover and protect them , tule sounds good, I was thinking window screening maybe.

I was thinking I would cover them until the yellow flowers came , then uncover so they could polinate? Any suggetions from you all with experience?? Only other thing I am thinking is I will plant them in a different spot in my garden this time, I understand the larvae hibernate in the dirt..
Tim, beginer gardener

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Avonnow
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Squash Plants

First I have very little experience - just the first year and it was down right depressing. I have some plants wrapped now and they get plenty of sun and with the tulle - I can just water right through it, and take it off easy when I need to tend to them. This tulle is only .77 a yard at Walmart so it wasn't to bad and it you take care of it - I think it will last at least a few years. I do think you are right though and this little experimint will prove it, I think that some of these worms for sure are in the soil. I had squash plants last year and some were in pots on my screened pool patio, others outside. I can explain the worms on the outside plants, but not on the ones indoors. I think they came in the bagged soil. I wonder how log them can lay dormant in those bags????? I hate them. :evil:

On the cucumbers this may sound like alot of work, but on my vine that was outside when the fruit started to grow I would take a small plastic sandwich baggie, and a little piece of aluminum foil and I would cut a slit in the baggie and slip it over the fruit from the stem down like a jacket and then use the aluminium foil to seal around the slit on the stem - this worked for me, believe it or not they could not slink out onto the fruit and bore in The plastic baggie was see through so the sun still shone on it and I would roll it down the bigger the cucmber got. My cucumbers on the pool patio - no worms but the aphids were a big problem - that is another quest.

Where in Central Florida are you runfox?
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

Im in the Deltona area , north of Orlando, east of Daytona. so we both have similar weather to work with. The baggies on the fruit sounds interesting. The tule sounds good too. So you already have your plants in the ground growing?? . I will start planting this next week, it;s my week off so lots to do.
Tim, beginer gardener

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Avonnow
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Location: Merritt Island, Florida

What I did

I did the thing with the cucumber as a last resort as I was so discouraged by how quick those worms :x show up. It did end up helping alot. It would be alot of work if you had a huge garden, but since mine is a home garden it was worth the trouble. Yes, I have kept my garden going all winter. I used the C9 - old fashion Xmas lights and sheets and agribon row covers, they all helped alot. I did lose three tomato plants as well that were loaded. They were in large pots and I should have brought them in the garage. I learned. The other crops were more winter crops, peas, broccoli, greens so they seemed to fair better, - I think this year we had more nice days then 2010. I planted a bunch of beans after Thanksgiving and all our producing now, my peppers are starting to produce and I am harvesting the last of my broccoli. I felt the winter was much nicer to me then the summer. Keep posting, it is ncie to hear from others in FL. Our soil and conditions are alot different then up north. I live in Merritt Island, bear Kennedy Space center, I do have the Indian river on one side and the Banana River on the other, this usually keeps freezes away (the breezes) but not the last two years. I am sure it is much worse in the interior with damage.
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

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